Italian Citizenship: BE IN THE KNOW

There are three key questions that are on every applicant’s mind: 

1.    Do I qualify for Italian citizenship by descent?

2.    If so, how much does this process cost? 

3.    How long before I receive my Italian citizenship?

If only these questions could be answered with the push of a button! 
Through quizzes, forms, and free calls you can learn if you qualify for Italian citizenship pretty much on the spot, but the key here is to understand how and why you qualify. Requirements differ based on which family lineage you can use (male versus female ancestors) and while most applicants apply through the Italian Consulates here in the US, for others, the only option is to petition the Italian Courts to receive citizenship. 


This brings us to the next subject: Cost

Determining how you qualify is the first step to understand where you will be applying, which can impact the overall cost. So, what are the key items that make an application more expensive? 

-    If you are affected by the 1948 Rule, petitioning the Italian Courts is expensive, including the fact that the translations to Italian of all your US vital records including the naturalization records of your Italian Ancestor must be certified by a local court in Italy. 

-    Italian citizenship by descent has no limitation in the number of generations you can go back, so long as your Italian Ancestor migrated to the US after 1861. But more generations result in additional vital records (birth/marriage/death) that will need to be acquired, apostilled, and translated to Italian. 

-    If throughout the generations there are multiple divorces as well as subsequent marriages, these additional events must be documented, apostilled, and translated to Italian, as well. 

-    If your Italian Ancestor settled in the State of New York (not New York City), the birth of the next in line child who is now deceased will not be made available to you unless you have a court order

-    We often take it for granted that older vital records are available and that we know when and where our ancestors were born or married here in the US; not knowing may result in multiple attempts to locate the records. If old birth records are not available, church records and/or other records may be acceptable and will need to be acquired. 

-    Procuring records is a major task, but there is another one that is often overlooked and is as important: amendments. Correcting misspellings in first and last names, discrepancies in dates of birth are a must to prove a consistent link between you and your Italian born Ancestor. Some US States are more lenient than other when it comes to amending records of deceased people. However, some US States require a court order which can be expensive.


So how long does this process take? 

Most of the above listed items that add to the cost of the overall project are also the ones that make the process much longer. The good news is that you are not in a rush. 

If you are applying here in the US, appointments with most Consulates are a few years out; things are improving, and the Italian Consulates are trying to meet this higher demand. Appointments can be easily booked online through the Italian Consulates’ “PrenotaMi” system; in some cases, appointments are a few months out, in others, three years out. Once you have attended your appointment, Italian Consulates have 24 months to officially respond back to you, but their response can come much sooner. 

If you only qualify by challenging the “1948 Rule” in the Italian Courts, the timeline is unclear; starting June 22, 2022, these cases will no longer be heard in the Civil Court in Rome but rather in one of the 26 Appellate Courts in Italy, assigned based on the place of birth of your Italian ancestor. Will the timeline be less than the current one of 24 months? We’ll see.

Every applicant should KNOW this and be able to make an educated decision before getting started. So, take advantage of our FREE tools:

We can determine if you qualify AND provide you with a free personalized estimate; simply fill out the following form and you will receive a response from us within 48 hours (NEW!)

You can “Quiz Yourself” and learn if you qualify by answering a few questions.

For more information on the qualification requirements and the list of documents that you need to acquire, select the family situation that applies to you. 

As always, our phone lines are open and you can easily book your free call with us!  

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